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Saturday, 9 July 2011

Teal & Pink LOTD + Photoshop Tutorial Request

Hey guys! I've been a busy little bee these past two days and I have some more fun stuff for you. First off, here's my L.O.T.D. a teal and brown eye with bright fuschia lipstick. What do you think?

Unfortunately I don't have names for any of the colors as they came from my Sephora Holiday Palette. I think it's really fun and cute and I adore the color combo of pink and teal, probably my fave at the moment.

Now! I had a few requests after my last post asking how I edit my photos so I've put together a very image/text heavy walkthrough tutorial for those of you who are interested. I spent a LOT of time on this post so I hope it's helpful to at least some of you guys. I'll be teaching you how to get professional looking shots from an average digital camera. Here's what we'll be doing:

Click HERE to read the tutorial.

This is my first tutorial of anything ever so please bear with me! I have tried my best to include instructions detailed enough so that even the most novice photoshop user can follow along. It takes time, patience, and practice but I hope that the information contained within is helpful to some as I spent a LOT of time putting this together. If you have any questions you can contact me at

Possibly the most important step in this tutorial is to start with a decent, forward facing, natural lit, portrait shot of your face. For more information on the do's and don'ts of taking good makeup shots, please refer to Kassie's very helpful and informative post HERE.

Note: These screenshots can all be enlarge to true size by clicking on them if you can't read the values/settings on them at their current size.


STEP ONE: Open your picture in photoshop. The first step in fixing your photo is to duplicate your image to a new layer using Ctrl+J/Cmmd+J. CTRL for PC users, CMD for MAC users.

Now, working on your new layer, use the healing tool. This is the button shaped like a band-aid and is the first button in the second cluster of photoshop tool cursors. I have provided a screenshot below. 

This tool is used to remove any blemishes, stray hairs, wrinkles or skin imperfections. It does this by sampling from a desirable area of skin, and replacing the blemishes with a copy of this area.

STEP TWO: To remove blemishes ... Using a soft (0% hardness) brush, take the healing tool and hold down ALT and click a nearby section of nice skin, then let go of ALT and click your mouse over the blemish and it should disappear. See the differences in this comparison picture. If you're confused by these instructions there are lots of videos on YouTube explaining how to do this. Simply search Healing Tool Photoshop. 

See how I have replaced these imperfections with nicer patches of skin?

Take your time with this step, but don't overdo it. Don't obliterate every freckle from your face or it will look freakish. Try to focus on specific, noticeable imperfections as the small ones will be dealt with in the next step!

STEP THREE: Duplicate (Ctrl/Cmmd+J) your healed skin layer to get a third layer. Now, using the drop down menu at the top of your page, select Filter > Blur > Surface Blur and input appx. these values (this will vary on the size and quality of your image so play around with them. 

STEP FOUR: Your image should now have a waxy/plastic effect but it won't stay like this! We're going to cover this with a mask by selecting Layer > Layer Mask > Hide all. The effect we just did should disappear and over in your Layer's Bar you should see a black rectangle beside the image of your current layer.

STEP FIVE: Select a soft, round brush, and reduce it's opacity to about 30%, make your foreground color white, and then, making sure that the black mask is selected NOT your waxy image, begin painting on areas of skin that you would like to be smoothed out.

Here is the after shot. You can see that my previously black mask now has lots of opaque white blotches on it where I wanted my skin smoothed out and you can see how there are no more fine lines or wrinkles in my skin. If you've done this and your picture looks too waxy, just reduce the opacity of the layer to approx. 50-70%. I've left mine at 100%.

STEP SIX: Now we want to add texture back into our freakishly flawless skin, so were going to duplicate our surface blur layer (Ctrl/Cmmd+J), then desaturate it (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+U) so that we now have grey splotches where we smoothed our skin. Like this.

STEP SEVEN: Now we're going to add the texture, by using Filter > Noise > Add Noise, and using the values shown. This gives our grey spots a grainy texture. To blur this texture select Filter > Blur > Gaussian blur and set a value of 1.0.

STEP EIGHT: This still looks weird and grey, so set the blend mode of this layer to softlight and voila! Smooth, airbrushed skin!


STEP NINE: Now we're going to move on to the shadowing/highlighting stage of the retouching. This will require only two layers. To create these layers press Ctrl/Cmmd+Shift+N and a box will pop up. Set mode to Overlay, set opacity to 50% and check the box at the bottom like so.

This will create a medium grey layer, and your image should not change at all. Duplicate this grey layer so you have two of them (Cmmd/Ctrl+J) and name one Shadow and the other Highlight.

STEP TEN: On your Shadow layer, get your paintbrush, change the hardness to 0% and the opacity to 15%, make sure your foreground color is black (I showed you how to edit your brush settings in step five)  and begin painting anywhere that there is shadowing to make it darker. Build this effect gradually to keep things looking natural. Focus on your cheek contours, brow contours, eyeliner, pupils of the eye, and any other natural shadowing. You should constantly be changing the size of your brush in this step depending on what you're shadowing. 

You should notice your picture darken where your paint black and lighten where you paint white.

When you're finished that, switch your foreground color to white and repeat the process on the second grey layer, (Highlights) brushing white wherever you want the highlights to be. For extra effect, highlight the irises of your eyes to make their natural beauty stand out. 

The screenshot shows my two grey layers, one with lots of opaque grey marks for shadows, and the other with a few white streaks for highlights.

Here's the before & after of the shadow/highlight step.

This should give your photo a lot more dimension than it had before. Please note that this step does require a basic knowledge of light/shade dynamics and it does take practice. Also, I cannot express strongly enough, BUILD THIS EFFECT GRADUALLY! Don't do too much or it will look strange/fake.

STEP ELEVEN: From the bottom of your layers menu, select the circle icon that is half black and half white. A menu should pop up with lots of image editing options. Select: Selective Color and change the drop down menu of that window from Reds to Blacks. For this image I want a very strong dark feel so I will increase blacks 30% but this will vary from image to image (Usually 10-30% is fine). You can also play with the other color channels to make certain colors pop but for this image, we're fine for now.

STEP TWELVE: You can also select other options from the same pop-up menu as Selective color. I typically use; Color Balance, Hue/Saturation, Curves, Brightness & Contrast & Selective Color. Get to know these tools by playing with them as they all have different effects. These are the settings I used specifically for this photo-retouch in addition to selective color

 Remember to select these from the circular icon at the bottom of your layers menu.

STEP THIRTEEN: Now, select all your layers by clicking the bottom most layer, holding shift, and clicking the top most layer. Now, hit Ctrl/Cmd+ALT+Shift+E, and a new layer should appear on top of all these other layers. It is a composite of everything you've done so far.

STEP FOURTEEN: Now go to your Filter menu > Other > High Pass and enter in a 10px radius (this will also vary by the size and quality of your image, but 10px is a good standard). This will create a sharp, grey outline of your image. Select OK. Now, change the blend mode of this layer to Soft Light and change the opacity to 50% to give the image a nice crisp finish.

You're done! Here's a screenshot of all the layers named and in proper order so you can see how everything should be laid out.

Now try this with your own photos and perfect the process! The .psd file is HERE for download if you'd like to look at it closer.

I would really really appreciate feedback on this post, what worked, what didn't, was it helpful, too wordy? Please be honest and constructive so I can improve for the future.


  1. The first photo is gorgeous! I love the look! Cool photoshop tips. :) I took a class on it and it was really fun.

  2. I love the teal and pink look! That's just beautiful. And thanks so much for the tutorial hun.

  3. I love the blues!
    and great photoshop tutorial!

    too bad I dont have photoshop. LOL

  4. Thanks for the tutorial!! It's super helpful and I love the teal and pink

  5. dang lol that seems like alot!
    they look amazing in the end tho(:

    i love that lipstick you have on in the first photo

    <3 BB

  6. Wow! you have given the perfect,step by step, easy to follow tutorial.(put in so much time and effort). I`m amazed at the before and after pics. Thank you sooo much. You are rocking the teal and pink look.

  7. Awesome Look! Love the teal with the pink lips, gorgeous! ♥
    Nice tutorial! But I don't think you need so much of it. But nevertheless it's great! :D

  8. wow amazing!!! would love to try that!
    definitely following you..
    hope you can drop by my blog and follow if you like *winks*
    btw, i'm having a giveaway.. you might find it interesting


  9. @ Meredith Jessica: Yeah, I absolutely love it too!!!! I'm so glad you liked it =). Thanks for the tip, I'll try to remember it!! =D

    Ps. I absolutely LOVE your lipstick at the first picture, what's the name and what brand is it? I WANNA HAVE IT!! =D

  10. Gorgeous look and thanks so much for the tutorial! I'm planning to purchase photoshop so this was very helpful!

  11. The teal look is stunning, I love pretty much all of it. I need to remind myself to use eyelashes! It always looks so amazing on everyone else...


  12. STUNNING eyes in your first picture!

  13. Thank you for the tutorial, it's nice to know even those who can't afford expensive technology can get the same effect, so I'll be giving it a whirl! I love your teal look, the colours look so blended and smooth. It's beautiful! :D

  14. Awesomeness as usual! I've given you a blog award!

  15. this is too fierce! you're so good at makeup!! (:

  16. Love the pink and teal!! I'll have to refer back to this when I TRY to perfect a photo on photoshop. I downloaded a free trial, but find it "not user friendly". I've just gotten frustrated and have given up on it. Hopefully your tut will make it a lot easier for me. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  17. Thanks for the follow! And I lve photoshop, it's amazing what you can do with it

  18. Thanks so much for this. I'll refer back to this, I think. I don't really photoshop at all, but for a dramatic look where I need to look like I have some photography skills this will really come in useful :)

  19. wow that green make up looks incredible! I would never be able to get such accurate, straight lines!

  20. Wow, the teal look you have on is SUPERB. I have an obsession with teal at the moment, so I instantly fell in love!

    AND, thank you SO much for the photoshop tutorial! I photoshop my pictures are well, but I use a different technique. Obviously your pictures always look AMAZING, I'm gonna give your tips and tricks a try. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

  21. Thanks so much for the offer!! I may have to take you up on that! :) In the meantime, I will continue playing with photoshop! I can't wait to try your tips!

  22. Neat tutorial! I've never used Photoshop on my photos before, thanks for explaining how to use it.

  23. I love the look with teal and brown eyes with a fuchsia lip!! Gorgeous!

  24. Excellent tutorial! I only have photoshop elements so a couple of the steps I'm having trouble with (like duplicating the surface layer to create noise). I found a way to get the mask but have yet to figure out a way to get the copy/desaturation.

    Again, excellent tutorial for your first one.

  25. Thanks for the great tutorial! I usually use Lightroom for editing my photos, I don't edit them much, just remove a couple of occasional pimples and such. BTW, what camera do you use?

  26. I just want to say thank you for this tutorial. I refer to it a lot when I need to touch up a photo!

  27. Wow!! This is so much detail it's mind boggling.
    Thank you for putting this all together!!!! :)
    won't be able to master it all today like I need to!

    The DL isn't working for me.

  28. Will you tell me what app to use for this on MacBooks? i looked up PHOTOSHOP na call expensive apps came up. pleas tell me ASAP as i love this look!